Seat, VW’s Spanish division will start selling a compact SUV in 2016, Seat CEO Jürgen Stackmann told reporters today during a press conference.
The new SUV from Seat will be based on the actual Leon model, it will be designed and engineered at SEAT’s Technical Centre in Martorell, but most probably it will be built at a factory in Eastern Europe, where labor costs are lower.
According to some people familiar with the matter, the Skoda’s Czech plant Kvasiny is a clear favorite due to lower labor costs.
Last week, VW announced that Škoda Auto’s east Bohemian factory at Kvasiny has been selected to build a new large sports utility vehicle. There are speculations that the new production will create hundreds of new jobs, MfD said.
“This is excellent news,” Seat CEO Stackmann said.
“We know with the success of Leon what this car should look like”. “Leon has made our brand definition much clearer,” said Stackmann. “It shows what we can do with German engineering and Spanish design and lust for innovation.”
“The SUV is a vital pillar in the future strategy of the company is and is an important step in our journey towards sustainability and profitability.”
Seat, the only unprofitable unit of Volkswagen Ag., sold only 300,000 vehicles in 2012. The SUV segment in Europe has grown over the past five years by 40 percent; and is expected to grow even further.
The automaker already unveiled a concept SUV in 2011 during the Geneva Motor Show. It was designed under the “watch” of ex-Lamborghini designer Luc Donckerwolke – a two door mix of SUV and sports car.
– attached images showing the Seat IBX Concept